Mark Van Doren, the noted literary scholar, once remarked, «The college is meaningless without a curriculum, but it is more so when it has one that is meaningless.» Many current critics of undergraduate curricula in America assent to the crucial need for programmatic renewal in our colleges and universities. They bemoan the cookie-cutter sameness in far too many of them. The oddity is that U.S. colleges have long touted their «diversity» while largely holding fast to rather traditional pathways. This illuminating volume goes beyond formulaic nuts-and-bolts recipes for constructing curriculum: it seeks to interpret and analyze the contemporary landscape of college curriculum. Yet it also hopes to heighten pedagogic horizons in more imaginative, innovative ways by presenting actual curricula from more distinctive academic offerings. This book will stimulate vitally needed «out-of-the-box» thinking about curricula among faculty, administrators, and students, and ultimately invite the emergence of more radically diverse visions and realities for today’s college curriculum.
Joseph L. DeVitis has taught at five universities in his 40-year academic career. Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he is a past president of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), the Council of Learned Societies in Education, and the Society of Professors of Education. Author or editor of 15 books, he has written extensively on moral development, liberal education, collegiate service-learning, and educational reform. His most recent books are a series of notable readers for Peter Lang Publishing: Contemporary Colleges and Universities (2013); Critical Civic Literacy (2011); Character and Moral Education (2011), edited with Tianlong Yu; and Adolescent Education (2010), edited with Linda Irwin-DeVitis. The latter two books received Critics Choice Awards from AESA as outstanding books of the year.